Islamophobia and Dishonesty
I often choose not to respond to vicious character attacks, whether they come from a major Christian apologist or a beginner in the inter-faith field. Recently Jonathan McLatchie decided to go on a string of unfortunate articles where he has targeted several Muslims in the inter-faith field. Collectively, we’ve decided to forgive him. I myself forgive him for what he has said about me, the issue(s) we have with him are purely professional, not personal. Therefore, when I saw his last few posts and articles attacking some of my colleagues, I knew that he’d have to eventually write about me. I’m okay with him having done that, I’m okay with his name calling, his insults, his mistakes. After all, he’s only human. He’s quite young, and as he matures he’d quickly find that such behaviour is inappropriate.
Now unfortunately, Jonathan seeks to blame me for sharing the words that came out of his mouth. I previously had shared a clip of one of his lectures where he openly derides Islam and Muslims as inviting a cancer and virus into European civilization. I’ll gladly share that clip again:
He insists that I’ve somehow misunderstood what he’s said. However, he does go on to state that he made a mistake in his wording, that he said something wrong:
“While I try to present information with a high level of factual accuracy (and I think I succeed in doing this for the most part), occasionally I can make a mistake or change my mind on something that I have said. I take full responsibility for anything that I say that is not accurate, and I hope to always correct those when brought to my attention.”
The problem here is with Jonathan’s thinking. Any sensible person would quickly realise that if you admit that you made a mistake, then whatever was understood from your mistaken words, you are responsible for that mistake. So, what does Jonathan do? He claims to have taken responsibility for those inappropriate words. That begs the question, if I misunderstood him, then why did he find the need to acknowledge what he said as a mistake? If I had misrepresented him as he claims, then it would mean that his words were not mistaken. However, the opposite is true. He’s admitted that he spoke mistakenly, therefore acknowledging that whatever he said was indeed wrong. That’s simple logic, it’s common sense. So from Jonathan’s own words, he said something wrong.
If I have rightfully corrected him on his mistake, then in what sense have I misrepresented him? Therefore, what we are seeing from his behaviour is pure immature nonsense. We need to look at his next statement:
“That mistake on my part aside, did I really describe “Muslim immigrants of an ethnic background to be cancers and viruses that are invading Europe”?”
He says he didn’t say this, he says what he meant was:
In what was regrettably a poor choice of wording on my part, I likened these Muslim enclaves in France to a cancer — my meaning of course was that such enclaves are a breeding ground for Islamic radicalism. It was not intended to refer to the individuals who live in these areas. By likening the enclaves to a cancer it was the ‘No Go Zone’ structure itself I was talking about, and not the Muslims living within such areas nor even the ones who were enforcing such a structure.”
Let’s stop right here. In the first line what does he say? He says he likened Muslims. Fullstop. That’s it. He’s admitted that he’s lying about me. In his own words, he’s clearly stated that when he spoke in the Church about enclaves being cancerous and like a virus, he was specifically referring to Muslims. So which is it Jonathan? Did I lie when I said you were referring to Muslims, when you yourself have said you referred to Muslims. You’ve vindicated me. You’ve thoroughly demonstrated that in your haste to insult me, you did not consider what you had written. In his later explanation, as quoted above, he indicates that he didn’t mean people, he meant structures. Yet, in the very first sentence he says he’s referring to Muslims – people! In the space of one paragraph he has demonstrated his dishonesty. At this point, I have no reason to continue this article. He’s demonstrated for me, through his own words that he was dishonest, deceitful and deceptive. I will continue just to illustrate the lengths through which he is willing to lie, he said:
“To support his allegation, Ijaz links to a video on his YouTube channel, highlighting a lecture I shared on Facebook back in September of 2015. The only problem is that nowhere in the video is it claimed that ISIS is normative for all, or most, Muslims.”
I’ll link the video here:
If anyone watched the video, the lady explicitly says that following the Prophet’s teachings (peace be upon him), naturally leads to behaving like ISIS. The majority of Muslims worldwide follow in some capacity the Prophetic Sunnah, whether Sunni or Shi’i. Therefore, what is normative for Jonathan, if not what the majority of Muslims follow? It would either mean that he lied, that he did not watch the video, or he does not know what the term normative means. I’m inclined to believe all three. Jonathan further argued that I somehow did not represent him correctly regarding his comments about Khalid Yasin. In that very article, click here to read it, I explicitly said:
Should Jonathan correct himself, I will edit this post to reflect this.
Did Jonathan ever message me to tell me that he corrected himself? Yes, he did. Earlier today right before he posted his article complaining about it. What does that say about him? I publicly offered to correct the article if the information was incorrect and Jonathan knowing this, chose to mention he did correct himself shortly before making a post to whine about it. Integrity is important. All he had to do was give me a heads up and I’d gladly have corrected the article, but he chose not to do so. This means that he wanted an opportunity to complain about. He waited for weeks before opening his mouth. This is simply inappropriate behaviour for a person who dares call others names.
As many would know, Jonathan has upset quite a few people in the inter-faith community, both Muslim and Christian. There was a point in time that I asked him, why he joined out of all people, David Wood and Sam Shamoun as partners in his apologetics. There were many other people he could have aligned himself with, Dr. White, RZIM, etc. Instead he chose people who lack credibility in their own Christian circles. He chose to align himself with people that identified with his ideas, beliefs and vitriolic views. Therefore, I find it quite funny that he speaks with such hate against me. His problem isn’t that I misrepresented him, it’s that I dared to publicize his statements. As we’ve seen above, he’s clearly admitted to referring to people as cancerous and as a virus. There is quite literally nothing to debate about, his own words have settled that matter.
Interestingly, it’s almost a weekly occurrence where he says he wants nothing to do with me. Guess what happened today? After posting his article, we exchanged a few e-mails again. He says one thing publicly and another thing in private. I’d like to share something posted by Br. Yahya recently directed at Jonathan‘s deceptive behaviour:
A quick note to Jonathan McLatchie [pass it on to him please]
Firstly, if you introduce me again with such underhand negativity…like you did just now and in your previous comments in your response on the Son of Man (which I let slide) I will be on the brink of playing tit-for-tat with you. That will mean, I will introduce you negatively every time I mention you, right now I’m leaning towards calling you a plagiarist (a true epithet for you…you’ve been found out on a few occasions IIRC).
I can handle negativity, insults and even arrogance. Here’s something I recently received from (perhaps one of your co-religionists):
“Muslims are filthy pig swill….. Go to hell. I would rather fight you cunts till I die than become one of you”
Now, I have a thick skin and don’t usually respond in kind. Sticks and stones break your bones but names…
However, one thing I will not stand for is two-faced behaviour. When you say you want to improve relationships and even want to meet up for a cup of coffee and then continue with underhand slights there’s an issue. It’s an issue with your sincerity.
Another thing I was willing to let slide, you liking comments calling people idiots (namely myself:)) and liking other negative comments about Ijaz Ahmad and perhaps others. You’re ‘notorious’ for it. You seem like a passive aggressive type….your buddy Shamoun beats his cheat and really gets his hands dirty (normally in the act of picking up ‘pig swill’ and hurling at Muslims). Your other buddy Wood strips down and gets into his wife’s undies to have a go. Your buddy Pastor Najm rattles off his anti-Muslim diatribes facing the camera. Those boys, sure their acts are deplorable and betraying their spiritual natures, but you do get the feeling they will stab while you’re facing them. The same with the two con men from Egypt, ‘Prince’ and Dakdok (not entirely sure if they are your buds). You on the other hand wait lull me into a false sense of security and wait for me to turn my back and then get your drawing pin out and prick me…what’s the end game, death by a thousand cuts?
In the end, I forgive Jonathan for his behaviour, his insults, his misrepresentations. He’s young, he’ll make mistakes and hopefully he can find a route to more mature discussion.
and God knows best.